There are as many answers and opinions to this topic as there are handguns themselves. We recommend a three part process when looking for a defense handgun. Those three parts are: Quality, Availability, and personal preference.
Quality: If you are going to carry a handgun, you had better be will to trust your life to it’s quality. There are many quality manufactures out there, do some research and find them. A short (non-exhaustive) list of popular and quality manufacturers are: Glock, Springfield, Smith and Wesson, Sig Sauer (in most models). It is up to you to decide what is important in quality and understand what makes a quality gun, and what you are willing to pay. The a fore mentioned manufactures offer some great guns at affordable and reasonable prices. I own and carry a Glock and a Springfield XDm regularly. We do not promote one over another, as each have different aspects that make them attractive, that is where personal preference comes in.
Personal Preference: There are about as many choices out there for a carry gun as there are stars in the sky. Those that pass the quality step still leave you with an overwhelming amount options. You need to decide what you want out of a handgun in order to narrow the field more. Do you want a manual safety? What size frame do you want, full, compact, subcompact? Often, it comes down to looks; we want a gun we like to look at right? Make a list of important features to you and start there, this will remove a vast amount of options and make the search more reasonable. You also must consider the availability of accessories, and parts.
Availability: You need to consider the availability of parts and accessories for the handgun. You may find a quality handgun, that you like, but if it was made in Slovakia in the 1980’s, you are going to have a hard time finding parts should you need it, and forget about a good carry holster. Holster and other accessory manufacturers will make equipment for more common handguns. When it comes to Glocks for example, you are spoiled for choice.
What can we learn:
First and foremost you need to choose a reliable and quality brand that has a proven track record.
Don’t let someone tell you what gun you “need” Just because it works for them, does not mean it will work for them. Itemize a list of specifications that are important to you, and start from there.
Before you commit to a gun, make sure the accessories you want for it are available.
This process is very personal and in some way intimate. Before you let someone tell you what gun you need, or choose one on a whim, do your homework. It does not take long, and it may be a life saving decision.
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